Introduction of a new gerbil
If you just bought a baby gerbil and you just leurned that it might be better if it had a friend, then you shouldn't have any problem to introduce a new one. But if you have an older gerbil and you want introduce another gerbil, it will be more complicated. Keep reading to know more about it!
Gerbils are VERY territoriales. The introduction of a new gerbils may complicated or even impossible. Don't do it only because you feel like you want another gerbil, but do it for your gerbil. There is some rules to follow and if it's made the wrong way, it may result in sever injuries or even death of one or both gerbils.
-Never try to introduce a new gerbil to a group. It's already complicated to group 2 gerbils, you don't want to know about 3! The group member will team up to kill the intruder...
-Never let 2 newly paired gerbils together while they meet. You could come back and find 2 bloody gerbils.
Before begining anything, you must make a neutral territory where the 2 gerbils will meet. Clean a aquarium or a cage so that any sent left is gone.
Young gerbils 3 months or less
If your gerbil is still a baby, you won't have any problem to present him a new gerbil of the same age. But, if you see some fighting you can use the split cage technique and normally, everything should be ok.
This becomes a little bit more complicated. Depending of the sex of your gerbil, it may be more or less easy to achieve. Here is what you can do.
If you have a male:
It's your lucky day! Male gerbil accepts pretty well other new young gerbils and even older ones. But the best thing to do is to do it with a young gerbil aged of 2 month or less. Use the split cage technique explained at the bottom of this page.
You also can present him an adult female. If she is in heat, he will accept her easily on his territory and the female will be more docile. But, if she just doesn’t want to anything of that new male and that a fight begins, you'll need to use the method explain at the bottom of the page. Always present the female in the male's territory. The opposite will lead to fight almost every time!
The introduction of an adult male is also possible. I used the split cage method with 2 of my old males (1 year and 2 years). It took 2 weeks and they were sleeping together!
If you have a female:
If you want to introduce her to an adult male, it may be possible. Sometimes the female will accept the male but other times, there won't be anything to do. Just hope that she still have heat periods, it's easier that way. Always introduce the female in the male's territory and the male must be mature. Animals are just like us. It's always easier for a man to invite his new girlfriend in his house then the opposite.
If you want to pair an adult female to another female, you'll have to use the split cage technique. With young or older female, the introduction will be mostly the same with an adult one.
*If your gerbil live for more then 1 year alone, chances are small to achieve to pair it. Even if you try all methods available, it may just don't work!
This technique is simple but you got to be patient. The process may take from some days to weeks to do. Yes it can be long.
Step 1: Split the cage or the aquarium.
You must divide an aquarium or a cage with a mesh barrier. Gerbils must be able to see and smell each other, without being able to fight. The mesh must be 1 cm wide (1/2 inch) or smaller. You can also use 2 cages that you place one next to the other.
Step 2: Place the gerbil, one on each side.
Let them get use to each other for a while. Observe their reaction. If they don't really seems to care about the other one or just stay calm, go to step 4. If they seem to want to fight trough the fence continue on step 3.
Step 3: Mixing the sent
Twice or three times a day, change the gerbils from one side to the other. This way you will mix the sent of each one. Someday they may think that they know the other gerbil as they recognise the sent. You can also use this change to see if they may get along. Just place one gerbil on the other side with the other one. If they fight, just take the other on his new side.
Step 4:Direct contact
If the gerbils don't seams to show any sing of aggression (ex: sleep next to each other), you can try to move one on the side of the other. Keep the separator near or work gloves in case of a fight. If a fight breaks out, separate them right away!! You'll have to repeat the steps. If it doesn’t work after 2 or 3 weeks it may never work for them.
Good luck! And be patient!
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